As a recycling company, you’ve dealt with a lot of what we might call relatively unsophisticated materials. Aluminum soda cans, steel reinforcement bars, and copper piping are easy to handle, and you’ve been doing so deftly for years. However, electronic waste, or e-waste, proves a bit tougher to deal with. E-waste, a loose term for consumer electronic equipment that has reached the end of its useful life, contains heavy metals, toxic chemicals, and other hazardous materials that make handling it trickier than dealing with mere iron and steel. To recycle e-waste, you’ll need to obtain a specific certification that attests to your ability to handle this often-hazardous waste. If you’re on the fence about whether it’s worth it, consider these benefits of obtaining electronic waste certification.
New Revenue Streams
While some components of electronic waste are too toxic to recycle, other metals within the circuitry and various elements of consumer electronics could have serious value—and that means more revenue for your firm. Televisions, computer monitors, and other items could contain valuable copper. However, they may also contain lead, which is a potent neurotoxin that requires delicate handling. E-waste certification will allow you to harvest the valuable resources within disused electronics.
Reduce Environmental Impact
Of course, we should also try to think bigger than ourselves. Our resources are finite, and ensuring that we don’t exhaust our supply—an energy-intensive and labor-intensive process—must be a global priority. Cutting down on the mining and processing of the virgin materials we rely on for electronics is one of the best reasons to do something about the rise of e-waste. There’s also the matter of keeping these goods out of our landfills. The heavy metals present in e-waste, such as lead and cadmium, can leach into groundwater, eventually contaminating the water supply. As a certified e-waste recycler, you’ll protect not just the planet but the people on it.
The notion of “corporate responsibility” is not exclusive to the firms that occupy the highest floors of the tallest buildings. Even down-to-earth businesses like yours must be responsible corporate citizens. In the case of recycling, that means taking on as much business as possible and carrying it out as ethically as possible. One of the benefits of obtaining electronic waste certification is that you’ll demonstrate corporate responsibility by going above and beyond what other recyclers do—and you’ll do it legally. Such a reputation is a classic can’t-hurt-could-help proposition.